LGBT Rights

The struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people for full equality is one of this generation’s most important and galvanizing civil rights movements. Despite the many advances that have been made, however, LGBT people continue to face discrimination in many areas of life.

Neither Pennsylvania law nor federal statutes specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, federal courts and some federal agencies have recognized discrimination against LGBT people as a form of gender or sex discrimination. Additionally, more than 40 local governments in Pennsylvania have ordinances prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations against LGBT people.

Resources

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Legal Cases

  • Fulton v. City of Philadelphia
    Lawsuit by foster care agency Catholic Social Services against the City of Philadelphia for terminating the agency’s contract because the agency refuses to license same-sex couples to be foster parents.
  • Martinez v. Doll et al.
    Gay man who has lived in the United States for 17 years has been held in ICE detention since January, when he attended a routine interview with USCIS
  • Williams v. Allegheny County
    A lawsuit filed against Allegheny County on behalf of Jules Williams, a transgender woman who was repeatedly abused while incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ).
  • Doe v. Boyertown Area School District
    The Boyertown Area School District respects its students' gender identity. Among other things, the Boyertown Area Senior High (“BASH”) has allowed students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
  • Burton v. Wetzel
    A federal lawsuit on behalf of a transgender woman who has been incarcerated in seven different male prisons by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) over the past four years.

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